UH softball heads to Seattle


The University of Hawaii softball team will continue its season in Seattle in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

The Rainbow Wahine (43-11) found out Sunday they will play at 12:30 p.m. HST Friday in the Seattle Regional against Minnesota (35-16). Portland State will face host Washington at 3 p.m.

The regional is a double-elimination tournament, and the winner advances to the Super Regionals. The next round is the Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City. There are 64 teams in the NCAA tournament.

This trip will mark the the 11th time that head coach Bob Coolen has led the Rainbow Wahine to the NCAA tournament, and the fifth time in the last seven seasons.

Hawaii qualified automatically after winning the Big West Conference title with a 20-4 record. The Wahine were one of 31 automatic qualifiers.

Hawaii has faced two of its regional opponents earlier this season — Portland State and Washington.

The Wahine defeated Portland State twice, 7-0 and 8-3 in the Pepsi Malihini Kipa Aloha Tournament, and split with Washington — ranked No. 16 at the time — with UH winning 5-2 and falling 3-1 in the Oceanic Time Warner Cable Paradise Classic title game. Hawaii hasn’t played Minnesota since 1990, and the two schools are 1-1 in their series history.

Oklahoma earned the tournament’s overall top seed. The Sooners went 47-4 and won the Big 12 title.

Defending national champion Alabama will also host a regional. The Crimson Tide went 42-13 on the season.